Validity of CO2 based ventilation design

Arsen Krikor Melikov*, Detelin G. Markov

*Corresponding author for this work

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The present ventilation design practice as well as the ventilation standards and building regulations are based on the assumption for complete mixing of air in occupied spaces. Required flow rate of outdoor air for dilution of metabolic CO2 generated by occupants is calculated to keep the CO2 concentration below certain required level. The CO2 concentration measured in the exhaust air or in the room but far from the occupants is assumed to be the same as the CO2 concentration in the air inhaled by the occupants. However, this assumption is seldom accurate, especially in spaces with closely seated occupants, such as classrooms, meeting rooms, etc. In such spaces the CO2 sources, i.e. the people, are close to each other and the CO2 concentration in the inhaled air may be much above the CO2 concentration level recommended as a limit in standards. This is because the upward free convection flow that exists around human body entrains the air with high CO2 concentration exhaled by seated people and move it to their breathing zone. Furthermore, the thermal flows generated by occupants' body interact with the ventilation flow, which often results in insufficient dilution of the generated CO2 (as well as other pollution) and high levels of CO2 concentration at the breathing zone of occupants. This problem is discussed in the present paper in detail. The discussion is supported by results of measurements in a meeting room with mixing air distribution. People were used to generate metabolic CO2 and a breathing thermal manikin was used to measure accurately the CO2 concentration in the inhaled air. The results confirmed that inhaled CO2 concentration was much higher than the one at the exhaust and that there is need for changes in the present CO2 based ventilation design practice. Possible solutions are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Article number05007
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventClima 2019: 13th REHVA World Congress - Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 26 May 201929 May 2019
Conference number: 13


ConferenceClima 2019: 13th REHVA World Congress

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